“Rubberneck”

Tyler R. Martin

When I was a kid
I made plastic fly traps
Out of empty soda bottles.
My uncle showed me how
To cut a small tapered hole
In the side, and fill the bottle
With chunks of meat and water.
The meat rots, stinks, drawing
Hungry flies who come to eat
And meet their bitter end,
Drowning in the water.
The meat works well
To draw them in, but the rotten
Flies, trapped earlier in the summer,
Work even better. They rot
And stink and draw exponentially
More hungry flies to fulfill their
Cannibalistic urges. Despite
The irony of feeding off
The misery of your peers
Only to succumb to the same fate,
And in turn be fed upon yourself,
The hungry flies swarmed the trap.
As more died, the stink grew
And more were drawn.
This is what clouded my mind
As I sat in a meandering river
Of traffic on a highway which stunk
Of death as commuters rotted away their lives
Slowing down to watch an ambulance
Loading a dead body into it’s back,
And to stare dumbly at a
Tow truck dragging away
A battered, bloody minivan…..

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